First off, I'm really sorry if these photographs look a bit grainy. I realised that my camera has been on the wrong setting for a while and I hadn't even noticed until I opened the photos up, saw that they didn't look quite right and checked over my camera for signs of damage! Ugh. Such a photography novice at times! Anyway, moaning and grumbling aside, ever since I started blogging, I've built up quite the collection of makeup brushes. I could never ever go back to basics and 'make do' with just a blush brush, sponge applicator and my fingers ever again (anyone else realise how clueless they were before they started blogging?!) I really began to realise just how much difference a brush or two makes, and I now have a rather full plant pot of them in my bathroom (yes...that's right - a plant pot - it's one of those decorative white ones from IKEA and I've had it for a good 2 years now - get yourselves to IKEA for all your brush storage needs!) Elf are a brand I've ordered from before, and I really love their stuff. I find their products to be incredibly pigmented and easy to use, with fabulous colour choices and all at an affordable price. They're great for a little treat now and again and I've always found delivery to be prompt (such an important part of an online company in my opinion!). I decided it was about time I tried some of their brushes since I've been looking at them and umming and arring for a good while. I noticed recently that I actually don't have a lot of eye brushes, even though I do my eyeshadow daily - therefore, it was about time I hit that order button. Here's what arrived on my doorstep a few days later...
Elf Studio Powder Brush | £3.75 | Link
This fluffy little devil is from Elf's studio line. With their sleek black handles and soft bristles, they're really good for the price and look the part as well. The brush has a flat top, so is a little less fluffy and 'bulbous' than my Real Techniques Powder brush - meaning that it offers a slightly heavier coverage and picks up more product for any areas that I want to sculpt or powder over a little more. So far so good with this one - I use it more for nights out when I really do want to mattify the skin and keep any shine at bay.
Elf Studio Small Stippling Brush | £3.75 | Link
Again, this brush is from the studio line - to be honest there isn't too much difference between the two lines aside from the slightly softer bristles (synthetic Taklon) and the black exterior. I bought this brush because of how much I love my trusty Real Techniques Stippling brush - and I thought a smaller one would be great for use with cream highlighter. The shape allows for more precision in application and is the perfect size for applying a highlight. I noticed that it doesn't pick up as much product as the Real Techniques offering so it often takes a little more time to build up colour. It creates a very subtle effect, and I often find I have to use small sweeping motions instead of 'stippling' to get the desired effect but it works really well with blending out my Benefit 'High Beam' and similar products.
Elf Studio Angled Contour Brush | £3.75 | Link
This brush has a flat, angled top and is perfect for applying contouring shades to the eyes. I find it a little big sometimes so if you need a precise application then you might wish to opt for something a little more smaller and fluffier, but it works well at applying colour in and above the crease of the eye. I seem to be using the 'blending' brush a little more as I find it suits my preferences more when it comes to eyeshadow application but it's a good brush to have in my collection nonetheless.
Elf Blending Eye Brush | £1.50 | Link
This little gem cost me £1.50 and it's honestly become one of my favourite eyeshadow brushes in my collection It fits the eyelid perfectly and allows for seamless blending and application of colour. I've found it works really well in the crease and for building up colour on the lids to create more depth. This has to be my favourite purchase of the bunch and I actually prefer the bristles on this one to those from the Studio line! They're still just as soft, and although admittedly probably aren't as smooth as a high-end equivalent (don't expect too much for a budget price!), are still really good value for money and I have no grumbles about the quality at all. I half expected the bristles to be plasticy and irritating to use on my eyes but I was completely wrong - elf have got it bang on the mark! I love the length of the bristles, the way the brush is shaped and how smooth it makes my eyeshadow look. It just makes blending a doddle.
Elf Smudge Brush | £1.50 | Link
I realised I didn't own a brush like this so I swiftly added it to my basket. HOW I've lived without a smudging brush in my life for all these years I will never know, but it was just what I needed. I use this for applying shadow under the lower lash line - and although I've used similar brushes before, I find this one is much more precise and works well at getting a good colour pay off. It also works well at smudging out kohl pencil for a classic, smokey look and is good for use in the 'outer v' of the eyelids if you want a precise bit of definition.
Overall, I'm really impressed with Elf's brush line and will certainly be ordering more. In fact, I might have to hop on over this week and grab a few more! I have my eyes on their fan brush and Kabuki Face brush next. The prices are ridiculously cheap, so don't expect Mac 'top notch' quality, but they're just as good as any other brushes on the highstreet and actually better than other brands I've picked up in drugstores. If you just want some cheap little additions to your collection and fancy trying out some new shapes and sizes, then I really do recommend them. Each brush comes packaged with a little instruction card and in it's own little pouch (which I've kept for when I go abroad - I can never fit them all in a brush roll!). The handles are also really nicely shaped and the brushes are all very lightweight which only adds to their appeal for me. AND - I picked up all 5 of these for barely over a tenner. What's not to like?! Well done Elf... *hiigh fives*
Have you tried any Elf brushes? Which ones do you like to use?